I’ve never been one for love letters…

My Husband…

I’ve never been one for love letters. Perhaps my heart is a little too big to wear on my sleeve, or the words fall over eachother clumsily when I try to bring them together. When I try to say ‘I love you’ with all the words it deserves.

But as time passes I realize that those three words can’t possibly contain it all, and that they tumble from me so often they blur into the other words that make up our days. They become like habit, comfortable and reliable, but not all they should be.

The truth is that life gets busy. It gets so busy at times that it steals whole days sometimes before we get a chance to really see eachother. We see the mess to clean up, the squealing kids, the work to be done. We talk about all the have tos and need tos but the wants… they hang there unsaid, stolen by all the stuff that distracts us and we forget how much we ache for them.

Sometimes I watch you when you don’t realize it. When you’re focused on work or when laughter escapes your lips. I drink in all the intricacies that make you who you are and I allow myself that moment to fall in love a little more. Sometimes it feels like a warmth bubbling up in my chest, other times like a comfort, a safe place to land.

The I love yours in marriage become mixed over time, and you realize now and then that the thoughtful moments say it as much as words. That the gestures and touches and private jokes blend in with the hard work to make this family whole and it becomes a bit of a tapestry together. It’s quite beautiful really, the dance we do getting through the every day, each move so essential to the other.

Thank you for the soft place to rest my head when I lay in your arms, thank you for the tingles when you kiss me, for taking out the trash when it’s too cold outside, for the way you rest your hand on the small of my back when we walk up hills to give me a boost. Thank you for making a space where I can be raw and honest, angry, passionate, crazy or sad and still seeing the beautiful in me.

I’ve never been one for love letters, but every day is my I love you.

loveletter

Copyright Nirvana Dawson 2013

Things that shouldn’t raise eyebrows

My son hugged a boy at the playground the other day. He had been playing with him for all of five minutes and he swung him in the air, arms around him and exclaimed “You’re so hansome, I’m going to marry you one day!”

Now I should clarify that my son’s list of future spouses is extensive. He has proposed to more people than I can remember, from old ladies to babies, hippies with flowing hair to rough brickies with impressive beards, so this boy who played a game of dinosaur attack so very well was unremarkable in his proposal.

But I still turned around to several parents with their eyebrows raised. Mine were a little too. And I’m disappointed in that, just as I’m disappointed in myself for whispering that it might be best not to propose to boys for a while, at least unless he was certain he actually wanted to marry one.

I’m disappointed because my reaction was quite normal. And that’s a problem.

We have talked about love. We have talked about the kinds that exist between family, between friends, between pets, and between spouses. We have talked about why he cannot, even if he very much wants to, marry me. We have talked about falling in love and marriage, and different points of views on all of it, and my son, like the rest of our family, firmly believes in equality. To him the idea of certain types of love being considered less valid just because of gender is madness. And I’m proud of that. I’m proud that my five year old can grasp marriage equality better than a lot of politicians.

So I really should have applauded that impromptu proposal. But the raised eyebrows got me, and it’s occurred to me that that’s a bigger battle than the one being fought for those legal rights.

The more that we teach our kids to “accept” it, the more than we unwittingly make it strange. The more that we clarify it, the more that we isolate it. Love should be love, it really should. Our kids don’t need a commentary from us on what makes up the majority, they need the diversity we preach to become organic, because most of the time it is to them. It’s us that make it ‘strange’, even without meaning to.

Who my kids grow up to love will come from who they are, not from an innocent game at a park or playing with makeup, and I will be just as proud of that love no matter what form it takes. But it is my reaction, and yours, and everyone else’s that witnesses these little moments, that can keep it innocent.

The greatest steps towards equality don’t just happen in a courtroom, they happen in the home. They happen when our little girls can go play with trucks wearing boy clothes without a second thought, and our boys can paint their nails because they think it looks funky, without anyone looking at them as though it’s out of place. Its when we don’t bat an eyelid at little girls giggling and announcing they’re engaged any more than we would if it were a girl and a boy. Childhood games will not make them gay any more than they will make them straight. But our acceptance, our lightness about love, will help to raise a generation where equality doesn’t need to be fought for, it will be as normal as kids playing dinosaurs in the park.

love-is-love

Diving for pearls of wisdom…

My husband is regularly wise, but rarely when I go looking for it.

Interestingly this doesn’t stop me, partly because I think too much and partly because it is the job of each spouse to drive the other to the cusp of madness now and again. I assume that we do this by accident, but can’t be sure.

Anyway, my relentless pursuits of these pearls of wisdom usually coincide with me being either exhausted or awash with hormones. In short, the times when logic and light heartedness are not my best traits. In these moments the greater the absence of profound statements of truth the more desperately I grab at them. Which of course alarms the poor man and he gets the look of a cornered animal then usually winds up making a fart joke.

Last night’s episode began with me half asleep with writers block and went a little like this…

“I’m feeling melancholy.” I sighed into his chest.

“What’s that??” he asked.

“You’re kidding?” I said (then mumbled something about him needing to read more books).

“So tell me what it means?”

“Thoughtful and sad.” 

“So just say that then. Oh! Or ‘sadful!’”

Now at this point a smarter woman than I would have either laughed or walked away… but no, I was too busy being sadful. So I painted my melancholy on all the conversations that followed, waiting for a pearl of wisdom and missing all the light heartedness I could have enjoyed had I not been looking for something else.

It was right before I went to bed, after we had effectively driven each other a little batty and wound up arguing over ideal cup quantities in the modern kitchen that he said just what I needed to hear. I got my wise pearl – even if I was the grain of sand to irritate the crap out of him to get it.

Last night he reminded me not to force things. Not writing and not the search for wisdom either. If it’s not working, whatever it is, let go, take a step back and just be happy.

We convince ourselves that we know how things should go – be they situations in our lives, creative endeavours, friendships, romance or our future. Even conversations with people we care about. But the thing is, life is meant to flow – things are meant to feel good for us and to go well in journey as well as destination. If it’s not working then let it go and see if the flow takes it in a different direction.

You can still hold on to what you want, just maybe don’t try to hold so tight.

Because it’s the times when you stop pushing and start allowing that the good stuff really starts happening…and even when it doesn’t, you’re too busy being happy to care.

Copyright Nirvana Dawson 2012